Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County works hard to provide a variety of training opportunities. We understand that many of our volunteers juggle many personal and professional responsibilities and we want CASA to fit into your lifestyle.
Pre-service training is provided by Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County and is held at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center. Training is partially funded by Ohio CASA. All training materials are provided to the trainees at no charge. We utilize a curriculum written and approved by the National CASA Association, but tailored to the unique experiences of CASAs working in Cuyahoga County.
Training is a total of 30 hours, which includes, independent study, classroom time, and court observation. Upon successful completion of the training, trainees are invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony, officiated by a Juvenile Court Judge. Trainees take an oath to serve as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
CASA of Cuyahoga County makes every attempt to appropriately match cases with the volunteer's available time, skill level, and confidence. Once a case has been assigned, CASAs are appointed by Juvenile Court as the Court Appointed Special Advocate on the case, and given access to all information relative to that particular child.
- CASAs research the case documentation and develop a plan for contacting all parties involved, most importantly the child. CASAs make an effort to see the child in a variety of settings in order to complete a thorough investigation and build an effective rapport. The CASA also contacts any significant adults or service professionals in the child's life to learn as much as possible about the child and the child's own unique story.
- CASAs use their investigation and assessment information to make appropriate recommendations to Juvenile Court regarding the child's best interests. CASAs maintain an ongoing relationship with the child and family to provide ongoing support and advocacy both in and out of court.
- A CASA remains appointed to a child's case until the court case has been closed and permanency achieved. Permanency looks different for each child, but might include being safely reunified with the child's birth family, living permanently with a relative, or becoming adopted.